Utah corrections director warns of possible emergency releases by this summer

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  • Law-abiding citizen
    May 21, 2010 10:11 a.m.

    Why should inmates live in better conditions than our military? Put them in tents! Also, reduce their medical benefits to the same as our Medicaid/Medicare patients - why should they receive better healthcare than our Medicare/Medicaid patients? I also feel they should be utilized somehow in the military since we are at war.

    May 20, 2010 1:34 p.m.

    The other thing I think that needs to be brought up is: what is crime?
    Most of the laws on the books punish crimes that the poor commit.
    The crimes that the rich commit are not called crimes.
    Our justice system is the best that money can buy.
    If you have the money you can commit crime and usually get away with it.
    How much money did the bankers and Wall Street steal from each citizen last year?
    Not only did they steal the money, but then our government gave them more of our money for good measure.
    Why are these people not in prison?
    Because the crimes that they committed are not illegal (because in a large part, they make and pass the laws)
    And they have the money to fight any crimes they committed that are laws.
    A man sticks a gun in your face and steals your wallet; he gets 5-20 years in prison.
    A man steals all of your 401k, retirement, house, and everything in your bank account; the government gives them your tax money as well.

    May 20, 2010 1:21 p.m.

    Are US citizens the most criminal in the world?
    The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
    We incarcerate more of our citizens then anyone including Russian and china.
    We are about 5% of the world’s population but account for 25% of the world’s incarcerated population.
    The United States incarcerates around 737 per 100,000.
    Many other western countries incarcerate around 100 per 100,000
    One out of every 32 US citizens is involved in some way with the criminal justice system.
    There are around 7 million Americans in prison and drug offenders account for 2 million of those.
    The war on drugs is a war on our own citizens.
    When the mental hospitals were opened in the 80's a large percentage of these people went from the hospitals to the prisons.
    It is my opinion that we lock up too many of our citizens.
    We have made everything a felony.
    Sentencing and justice are arbitrary.
    And we do not allow those released much of a chance.
    They have a very difficult time finding work and housing.
    Without being able to work, what do we expect them to do?

  • stanfunky
    May 20, 2010 1:03 p.m.

    "Crimson Regret | 8:30 a.m. May 20, 2010
    I think that they need to put all of the lifers and death row inmates onto an island, and let nature do the rest. why should we have to pay for them. If they are so bad that they need to be removed from society then why should society have to pay for them."

    They tried this once, in a little place called AUSTRALIA. Didn't work. You could remove some of the endless appeals but then increase the chance of an innocent man being convicted without recourse, so that's out. How about a REAL solution?

    Endlessly long sentences are part of the problem. Five years to life isn't any kind of solution that fits every crime. And a number of years is nothing if rehabilitation is not part of the package. Prison climate is nothing like the real world, when people leave it, they have to adapt, and many fail because they are unprepared (thanks to the confinement system we currently have). Hard work is one way, but if people have no skills, then it's just the chipping rocks which really isn't doing much good.

  • WithdrawConsent
    May 20, 2010 11:56 a.m.

    Many inmates in the custody of the Utah Department of Corrections have been over-sentenced.

    Early release hasn't resulted in an uptick in victimization.

    Let's explore alternatives to incarceration rather than enrich those who build and staff the prison-industrial complex.

  • Confused
    May 20, 2010 11:12 a.m.

    First of all, the State did try to go private on the prison system and found out that it actually cost MORE than if they ran the prison.

    You diatrite "Most are innocent trapped in the system" is laughable at best and criminal at worst, I worked at the prison for 7 years and most of the people there are there for REAL reason, They violated the law. The majority of them in general population are sex offenders.

    For those that don't think that the inmates don't work. A good portion of them do work, they mop the floors, they weed, they clean the highway (until recently) they fight forest fires, they have UCI where the learn a trade (wood working, printing, etc).

    The problem again is that by law an inmate industry can not compete with the private sector and they lack funding.

    Every inmate that is court ordered repraiations, must pay back the victims.

  • Dixie Dan
    May 20, 2010 9:18 a.m.

    What a conflict for Utonians. We want all our prisoners to serve out their full sentences. But to do that we need more prisons which will cause our taxes to increase. Decisions, decisions.

  • Fiddler
    May 20, 2010 9:07 a.m.

    Rather than find the ones who are closest to being released or the safest ones to release, how about just finding the most dangerous ones or the ones closest to death and speed THAT process up?

  • ST
    May 20, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    Tent City.

  • Larry
    May 20, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    We have a real hatered for others in this Country.
    Knowing about Waddups and Law Enforcement, Try looking at Arrest Requirements for each Officer everyday. The Criminals are on the outside, Waddupps being one of them. It is time we have an inside look at the Sherriffs, The Courts and the Justice system filling all of these spaces.
    2.5 Million People are in Jail, Most are innocent trapped in the system. You don't need to be a criminal to be caught up. Onece caught, No one is interested in hearing from you. You are crossed off the books. No longer employable.
    No longer a Citizen, so why should you follow the Laws, You can not eeven vote.

  • Grundle
    May 20, 2010 8:42 a.m.

    GWB - Great Idea!

    This has already been successfully implemented by DORA (Drug Offenders Rehabilitation Act). The problem is that it has very limited funding but it has worked wonders with those who can be participants.

    This has been in place for several years but has not been fully funded by the state.

    I wonder how many of our state prisoners are illegal aliens? And...if we simply deport them, won't that just give them the opportunity to come back in???

  • JosephONE
    May 20, 2010 8:33 a.m.

    Keep all prisoner rights. They are citizen and deserve the Constitutional protection afforded all. But, release early due to no space? What stupidity. Fenced areas with tents and cots. It is good enough for the military, why not our prisons? MRE's, no soda pop, no coffee. Nothing not on a cheap balanced menu. No toys, no TV and nothing other than educational reading material. No air conditioning.
    NO reason at all to release anyone early.

  • Crimson Regret
    May 20, 2010 8:30 a.m.

    I think that they need to put all of the lifers and death row inmates onto an island, and let nature do the rest. why should we have to pay for them. If they are so bad that they need to be removed from society then why should society have to pay for them.

  • GWB
    May 20, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    We need more tax cuts.

    Go ahead and let them free so I can pay less in taxes!!!

    On the other hand, perhaps releasing all non-violent drug offenders and requiring them to go through a drug addiction program would make sense.

    This would free up beds for the violent offenders, and treat the addiction that lead these people to prison in the first place at a much lower cost.

    Of course, that might be too logical.

  • shuttdlrl
    May 20, 2010 8:15 a.m.

    They could be used in the military.

  • therush
    May 20, 2010 4:49 a.m.

    "The 2nd is making prison so miserable that you don't want to go back. That includes causing pain and suffering to the "inmate"."

    Wow... just wow.

  • My2Cents
    May 20, 2010 4:17 a.m.

    Infringing on rights and freedoms with laws is why the prisons can't keep up with prisoners. Maybe the legislators should rewrite some laws and put more restrictions on law enforcement from manufacturing crimes. Where a lot of victimless prisoners where law enforcement has created a crime and target, entice, and lure individuals to commit a crime.

    If prisoners are to be released, they should start with illegal aliens to be deported and turn them over to the feds or national guard to deport them right from the prisons. This alone should eliminate 50% of the inmates. Then prisoners in as drug users and addicts should not be hard core prisoners, they can be released to rehabilitation programs outside of prisons. There are many more lesser crimes that are causing the overcrowding of prisons.

    Criminals are created by laws and too many laws create over crowded prisons. Utah is a police state where police are writing the laws and punishments. They propose the laws they want and in secrecy get them passed. Or they get laws nullified because they don't want to enforce them.

  • You have to kidding
    May 19, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    Waddoups said the state has a higher than average incarceration rate because it aggressively prosecutes dangerous criminals, a characteristic he said is a positive because it contributes to maintaining public safety.

    I'm not sure where Waddoups gets his information from. Utah historically has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the country.

  • DR Hall
    May 19, 2010 6:01 p.m.

    It is most unfortunately that we have so many people who violate the law to cause this situation to occur. But Our Political parties will not set the right priorities and just blame others. Had we not wasted our money in recent Wars and allowed regulations to be ignored to bring on this economic crisis and elected officials seting the the wrong example with their lies and very bad actions and do nothing to correct our situations that others try the same actions and get caught for it. If we would all try to be better people and respect each other and hold others as our equals, then most of these messes would not be occurring. We all need to go away from GREED for our selves and work on building our families and communities together.

  • lost in DC
    May 19, 2010 4:34 p.m.

    how bout we execute ronnie lee gardner and the lafferty brothers? that will free up three more beds.

  • onceuponatime
    May 19, 2010 4:00 p.m.

    Cut the funding for for parks and rec first etc. The trees will still grow without someone watching them. Let's put safety first.

  • Maudine
    May 19, 2010 3:24 p.m.

    @ giantfan and lsteinbentley: Great - let's put them to work. Exactly what jobs would you trust them to do? And what do we do about those who are now unemployed because inmates are doing their jobs?

    @ Capsaicin and thelogicalone: Remember that handy dandy little thing called "The Constitution of the United States of America"? I suggest you read the 8th Amendment.

  • thelogicalone
    May 19, 2010 2:34 p.m.

    can't we put them in tents with bologna sandwiches like the sherriff in Arizona?

  • M
    May 19, 2010 2:00 p.m.

    Capsaicin, I can't tell you how happy I am that you're not in any position of power.

    You are exactly what's wrong with this world. You're just like these criminals.

  • lsteinbentley
    May 19, 2010 1:51 p.m.

    I agree with giantfan. Why can't they work??

  • giantfan
    May 19, 2010 12:52 p.m.

    What a burden on society to have to house these criminals. Make them pay for their stay, make them work while in prison. Chain gangs could go a long way to making up for the shortfall in resources. And it would probably be a better deterent then what we currently have.

  • Capsaicin
    May 19, 2010 12:51 p.m.

    $26,000/yr. That is because it's government run. $26,000 could easily be spent wisely. The first is, repealing all rights a prisoner has except a court appointed lawyer.

    The 2nd is making prison so miserable that you don't want to go back. That includes causing pain and suffering to the "inmate". That way the next time they come back they either off themselves before it happens, or they don't come back at all. It's a win-win situation that leaves the general public in a situation where they are not overly burdened with taxes that could be spent on say...lights that turn green when you pull up to them and there's no on else around...(something Utah can't seem to figure out but all the other states have)